OrthodoxChristianity.net
December 19, 2014, 10:38:00 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Rank the SCOBA jurisdictions -- Read This First Please  (Read 2038 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
arjuna3110
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 132


« on: September 29, 2005, 06:38:51 AM »

Hi everybody!  I made the decision to become Orthodox.  Now (because I live in the U.S.) I have to pick a jurisdiction. 

The main SCOBA jurisdictions (in terms of people and presence) seem to be the Antiochians, the Greeks and the OCA.  Yes, I will be visiting the local parishes of each jurisdiction; indeed, I have already begun to do so.  However, I am curious to know what your thoughts are about each jurisdiction.  Hence this poll.

There are six questions for six different factors that I am considering in my analysis.  Because of the way that polls are set up at this website (one question per poll), I am therefore posting six polls: one for each question.  For each poll question, please pick the jurisdiction which (in your opinion) is strongest in this area.  For the sake of convenience, please leave your general comments on this thread.

The six factors that I am considering are the following:


1.  Ethnicity
--How much is the language of the old country used in liturgy, fellowship, elsewhere?
--How important is maintaining the culture of the old country?
--How much are the jurisdictions under the control or the “strong influence” of the leaders of the jurisdictions back in the home country?
--How much does maintaining ethnic language and tradition (small ‘t’)  improve the quality of living the Orthodox Tradition (big “T”) overall?


2.  Money
--How rich or poor is the jurisdiction in buildings, salaries for priests and other support personnel, charitable programs, missionary work?


3.  Converts
--How much (what percentage of the population in the U.S.) is converts?
--How open are the jurisdictions to converts?
--How much, if at all, is Tradition (big “T’) watered down or diminished because of the presence of converts?
--Overall, how missionary are the jurisdictions How dedicated to missionary work / proselytizing are the jurisdictions?


4.  Activity and Creativity
--How active and innovative are the jurisdictions in charitable works, pro-life work, general outreach, missionary activity, and adapting tradition (little ‘t’) to American culture?


5.  Corruption
--How much are the leaders (clergy and laity) corrupted by money or power or other problems?


6.  Monasticism
--How many monasteries do the jurisdictions have in the U.S.?
--How well are they growing?
--How well do they function as centers of spiritual health for people (i.e., what is their proximity to Orthodox populations, general reputation for holiness, etc.) ?

Logged
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,831



WWW
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2005, 07:14:24 AM »

Shopping, eh?  Well, glad you've decided to come over.

Yes, I will be visiting the local parishes of each jurisdiction; indeed, I have already begun to do so.

LOL  Good.  Saves me the typing.  I'd be interested in knowing what YOUR impressions have been thus far concerning the six factors...

Quote
--How much is the language of the old country used in liturgy, fellowship, elsewhere?

My exp. in the OCA and AOAA had a lot of oc language in fellowship; very little in AOAA liturgy and none in OCA liturgy.  GOA has more Greek in liturgy, but the liturgy in Amarillo, TX is all English.

Quote
--How important is maintaining the culture of the old country?

Very; this is seen in the particular styles of panikhidas (service for departed), foods, festivals, language, style of chant, etc.

Quote
--How much are the jurisdictions under the control or the “strong influence” of the leaders of the jurisdictions back in the home country?

OCA's enjoys the benefits of self-government--i.e., total self-government, no interference from Moscow--but as far as the actual recognition of said self-government by others, it's not universal.

AOAA's apparently on the road to this point, too, as it's autonomous, i.e., able to elect its own bishops but not its Metropolitan.

GOA is neither autocephalous or autonomous.  No talk of when either will occur, afaik.  The EP still desires to directly oversee the archdiocese, and is also one who does not recognize the OCA's autocephaly due to the belief on his part that the EP has jurisdiction over all newly-evangelized, non-Greek lands, so anyone else "setting up shop" as fully independent of their mother Church (i.e., OCA from Moscow) isn't recognized.  Remains to be seen if the AOAA will be recognized upon achieving autocephaly.

Quote
--How much does maintaining ethnic language and tradition (small ‘t’)  improve the quality of living the Orthodox Tradition (big “T”) overall?

Depends.  Does it foster a community which centers around church life?  Or do people show up to help facilitate the Greek/Russian/Hafli festival and then disappear when it's time for church?  I've seen both.

Quote
--How rich or poor is the jurisdiction in buildings, salaries for priests and other support personnel, charitable programs, missionary work?

Don't have numbers available.  My EXPERIENCE has been, from talking to various priests in major metropolitan areas, that GOA priests are well taken care of, AOAA priests are less so (but still comfortable) and OCA and ROCOR priests usually have to take a second, part-time job of some kind to make ends meet.

Quote
--How much (what percentage of the population in the U.S.) is converts?

My impression is that it's fairly evenly dispersed.  I go to the pan-Orthodox Vespers services around the DFW Metroplex during Lent and every parish in every jurisdiction has had converts.

Quote
--How open are the jurisdictions to converts?

More than any other question you asked, this is (in America, anyway) entirely dependent upon the individual parish.

Quote
--How much, if at all, is Tradition (big “T’) watered down or diminished because of the presence of converts?

Well, some converts in the AOAA went nuts some time back in CA, and there are some cradle Greeks who are GOING nuts now concerning parish councils, and I'm sure there are problems in the OCA (haven't seen any myself), but oftentimes converts seem to be MORE insistent upon the Holy Tradition than some cradles.  And, on a side note, it'd probably be better to stop that "big T/little t" distinction; I think you'll find that one compliments the other, and the insistence on dividing the two diminishes them both and only serves to divide a parish, since no one can ever agree completely on which traditions go in which category.

Quote
--Overall, how missionary are the jurisdictions How dedicated to missionary work / proselytizing are the jurisdictions?

Mostly the things we're doing are pan-Orthodox, like ocmc and iocc.  Available to anybody.  Now, as to which jurisdictions are most active here and abroad concerning "getting the word out," there are "hot" parishes and "cold" ones all over.  Luck of the draw in many cases concerning what's near you.

Quote
--How active and innovative are the jurisdictions in charitable works, pro-life work, general outreach, missionary activity, and adapting tradition (little ‘t’) to American culture?

Again, no general trend, up to the parish.  As to adapting cultural traditions to American culture, this is something I would hope all jurisdictions were VERY careful about.  These cultural things are living links to where our faith came from; I'd favor a more natural, go-with-the-flow kind of change, to let the Church in its liturgies change and baptize AMERICA, rather than start with existing American culture and impose it on the Church.

Quote
--How much are the leaders (clergy and laity) corrupted by money or power or other problems?

LOL  Um...wow.  Ask pokrov.org.  Carefully.

Quote
--How many monasteries do the jurisdictions have in the U.S.?

Somebody posted a list here.

Quote
--How well are they growing?

As in, more being founded?  Not sure.  These things aren't usually planned in committees, if you know what I mean.

Quote
--How well do they function as centers of spiritual health for people (i.e., what is their proximity to Orthodox populations, general reputation for holiness, etc.) ?

Not sure, as this may vary from region to region, monastery to monastery.  My advice? Go to ones near you and make a call for yourself.  Someone once said that the only orthopraxis we should be concerned about is that within our own parish, as that's what directly effects us.

Hope this helps!

Pedro
« Last Edit: September 29, 2005, 07:21:52 AM by Pedro » Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
SouthSerb99
Archbishop of Shlivo, Patriarch of All Vodkas & Defender Against All Overstepping!
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 2,800


Now Internet Forum Friendly


WWW
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2005, 09:16:21 AM »

I will try to answer some of these questions for the Serbian Orthodox Church.

1.  Ethnicity
--How much is the language of the old country used in liturgy, fellowship, elsewhere?
--How important is maintaining the culture of the old country?
--How much are the jurisdictions under the control or the “strong influence” of the leaders of the jurisdictions back in the home country?
--How much does maintaining ethnic language and tradition (small ‘t’)  improve the quality of living the Orthodox Tradition (big “T”) overall?

This varies greatly, from parish to parish.  My current parish is much more of a "new immigrant" parish.  There is almost NO English spoken.  Liturgy is always in Old Church Slavonic (as it has been in EVERY Serbian Orthodox Church I've ever been to), but in my current parish, our Priest barely speaks any English.

Having said that, I can tell you that I've been to Serbian Churches in Chicago (second biggest Serb population outside of Serbia), where the Priests are born and raised in the West, speak English and the Church is like an "American" Church with Old Church Slavonic Liturgy.

So, that shows you two ends of the spectrum. 

In terms of specificity, Serbs have some customs that no other OC's have (like Slava).  Other jurisdictions have name days, but our Slava celebrates the families Patron Saint that converted them into Christianity.  Many Serbs have claimed "but for Slava, we would all be Muslims".

I don't think the Church in the old country asserts to much "control" over the SOC in the USA.  At least, nothing I have really noticed.


Quote
2.  Money
--How rich or poor is the jurisdiction in buildings, salaries for priests and other support personnel, charitable programs, missionary work?

Again, the answer is that it depends which city.  In Chicago, I'd say rich, on the east coast, I'd say very poor.  We have a beautiful Orthodox Cathedral (I think it was purchased from the RCC) in NYC that is literally falling apart.  Roof is leaking, concrete crumbling, a real disaster.  There isn't a significant community here and the support for the Church in NYC is poor (at best).

Quote
3.  Converts
--How much (what percentage of the population in the U.S.) is converts?
--How open are the jurisdictions to converts?
--How much, if at all, is Tradition (big “T’) watered down or diminished because of the presence of converts?
--Overall, how missionary are the jurisdictions How dedicated to missionary work / proselytizing are the jurisdictions?

I've only ever met one convert at a Serbian Orthodox Parish (my brother-in-law).  We have 0 at my current parish.  I know another poster here is a convert at a Parish in Texas (Cizinec), he might be able to speak about this better than I can.

Quote
4.  Activity and Creativity
--How active and innovative are the jurisdictions in charitable works, pro-life work, general outreach, missionary activity, and adapting tradition (little ‘t’) to American culture?

I think in recent years, this has really suffered in the SOC, because of our preoccupation with the situation in Kosovo.  Everything we do nowadays, seems to revolve around, feeding, clothing and protecting the Orthodox minority in the most brutal conditions in Kosovo.

Quote
5.  Corruption
--How much are the leaders (clergy and laity) corrupted by money or power or other problems?

I've never seen any of this personally, so I can't speak about it.  If it exists, I'm not privy to any of it.


Quote
6.  Monasticism
--How many monasteries do the jurisdictions have in the U.S.?
--How well are they growing?
--How well do they function as centers of spiritual health for people (i.e., what is their proximity to Orthodox populations, general reputation for holiness, etc.) ?

I think Pedro gave you some good info on this.  Good luck.
Logged

"Wherever you go, there you are."
 Guy from my office

Orthodox Archbishopric of Ohrid
Hungry? Click Here
Stamfordguy
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 127



« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2005, 10:08:06 AM »

Hi Arjuna

Now... I hope you don't misunderstand me. After all... I have no vested interest in this one way or the other. But I have to tell you: I find this ranking of jurisdictions to be distasteful and counter-productive in the extreme. Look... you're not buying a car, Arjuna. But it seems like you're going about this in just that manner as you walk about each jurisidiction and kick its proverbial tires as it were.

My advice to you is to drop this idea of ranking these bodies. They are, after all, the Body of Christ. Who are we to dare to judge the Body of Christ? Come on! Be reasonable. Fr Peter Gillquist many years ago said that they were invited to "get to know all the jurisdictions" and not just the Antiochians. Well... why not go to the church nearest you and get to know the people and take it from there? See how things develop. If they don't go too well after a month of Sundays, try another church. This idea of ranking jurisdictions... it's wrong, Arjuna... just plain wrong. I know your intentions are honorable, but they're misplaced in this. Forgive me if I have caused any offense.
Logged
Elisha
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 4,464


« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2005, 11:10:36 AM »

Although I like answering polls, your motivations are all wrong.  As Stamford says, visit all your local Orthodox parishes and pick the one that you are most comfortable with.  You are not picking a "jurisdiction".  I currently attend an OCA parish and probably prefer the OCA overall, but there are parishes in the AOA I would prefer over certain OCA parishes and probably likewise with the GOA.
Logged
Stamfordguy
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 127



« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2005, 11:12:18 AM »

Geeze, Arjuna... I hope you don't misunderstand me. I'm on your side, Bud. Really. I just don't think you should go about it in this way. When I reread my post I wondered if you might think I was criticizing you. I wasn't. I was just trying to share with you my feelings on the matter. How can we possibly rank the Body of Christ? Each one of us comes to this with our prejudices and our own small experiences. We're in no position to do this. It's best for you to just go and see... to sit down and get to know the priest and the people of the nearest church and if things don't seem to be working out... to try another... but close by so that you will find it easier to become active in the community. Best wishes to you.  Smiley
Logged
Silouan
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 818

Bogurodzica dziewica zbaw nas


« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2005, 12:40:09 PM »

I agree that the whole approach to this is wrong.  Based on personal experience I have found ROCOR to be the best all around - i.e missionary, neither convert nor ethnic dominated, traditional, pro monastic etc.  But in other places ROCOR is quite Russian or dominated by "crazy converts."  My point being that each jurisdiction has some wonderful parishes, some horrid parishes and mostly mediocre parishes.  I mostly attend a GOA parish as it is only a few miles from my house, but I've learned to take all interested friends and family to the ROCOR and not the GOA.     
Logged
irene
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 167

OC.net


« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2005, 03:20:08 PM »

I admire your thoroughness, Arjuna.   But, if I may add, God will lead you where He wants you to be.

Ask Him, and if you believe His plan is best for you, you will be able to relax.  Just go where you feel inspired to go that Sunday, even if it may not be the one place God has planned for you in the future.

One morning, I remembered dreaming about the inside of a church, I saw all the details.   Turns out it is the GOC that I will become a member of shortly. I had never been there prior to my dream and yet I saw it all in my dream.   Prior to that, I had prayed everyday for God to show me, but not really demanding a sign either.   My heart was humbly asking, and yearning.     In the meantime,  I had been visiting churches closer to home.   Everything has fallen into place, it has taken time, but all good things do.    Let God show you things, and don't be too quick to settle on the first.   God knows His plans for you, let Him show you.  Otherwise, He might think you  want to do it all yourself, and He will let you.   I'm not saying you don't pray about it, but make it the priority, the rest will follow.

Irene     
Logged
arjuna3110
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 132


« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2005, 09:49:08 PM »

Well, thank you everybody for your responses.  No, I wasn't offended by anyone's responses; and I appreciate the desire to help me in all of them.  However, I was looking for solid information on different jurisdictions; and thus I found Pedro's and South Serb's posts to be most useful.  But, again, thank you all for your responses.

-- Arjuna
Logged
arjuna3110
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 132


« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2005, 07:51:02 PM »

I'm equidistant from parishes of the Greek Orthodox, Antiochian and OCA jurisdictions.

I am going to try the Greek Orthodox.  I have had good experiences with them at a Greek Orthodox parish which I have visited for Divine Liturgy and at a Greek Orthodox monastery.  The Greek Orthodox also have 2000 years of experience at being Orthodox, and I need that experience.  They also have a fundamentally joyful culture, and I want to share in that.  And they have the money to support their clergy, parishes, ministries and outreach.  We'll see if it works out.  If not, like Irene suggested, I'll try something else and see where the Lord leads me. 

I apologize to anyone who ws offended by my ranking requests.

Again, thanks to all of you who posted your comments.
Logged
username!
Section Moderator
Protokentarchos
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Ukrainian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Pennsylvaniadoxy
Posts: 5,072



« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2005, 10:14:50 PM »

You're lists of demands sounds like you are purchasing a car.  Not good reasons and attitude in "picking a church."  Finding your spiritual centre should not be about the options, richness, or whatever consumer demands you expect the product (in this case a church) to meet your needs.  Find a place that is alive and welcomes you if you are interested, the Holy Spirit will lead you.  Let the consumer mindset (not our fault we act like that sometimes.. it is how our society works) go, and let Christ bring you home.
Logged

Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.083 seconds with 38 queries.